How Tesla's Master Plan Part 3 Will Change Everything

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla's work in AI leads them into robotics
Tesla's work in AI leads them into robotics

In 2006, Elon Musk released The Tesla Motors Master Plan. The first plan outlined how Tesla would build an expensive electric sports car, use that money to build a more affordable car, then use that money to build an even more affordable car. All while providing zero-emission electric power generation options. Tesla has since accomplished all of the above, producing millions of electric cars while rapidly bringing down production costs.

A decade later, in 2016, while the first plan was coming to fruition, Tesla released the Tesla Master Plan, Part Deux. In short, the plan would be to "Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage. Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments. Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning and enable your car to make money for you when you aren't using it."

While this plan has yet to be fully realized, a third plan may indicate that the second plan is within reach. Tesla has made huge progress with its FSD beta program and Elon Musk recently doubled down that Tesla will release FSD later this year. The production of the CyberTruck and Semi is set to begin next year. As the second plan is coming together, Elon Musk tweeted that he’s working on Tesla's “Master Plan Part 3”

Elon further hinted at the subject of the master plan in another recent tweet:

This tweet gives us a lot more insight into what Tesla is planning. It is now clear that a key part of the plan will be to “scale to extreme size to shift humanity away from fossil fuels.”

Tesla has put out a 20 million vehicle target by 2030. It sounds like a third plan will address how to achieve or even exceed this target. Despite Tesla's massive growth, the automaker currently accounts for just roughly 1% of the total vehicle market share. Scaling to “extreme size” is necessary to make a significant shift away from fossil fuels. The limiting factor to further scaling is the manufacturing of batteries. In particular, the real bottleneck is the mining of rare earth minerals (copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt etc.) required for battery production.

This is why Tesla’s Master Plan, Part 3 could be centered around rare earth mineral mining. So how does the Boring Company, AI and SpaceX play into mining? One theory is that the Boring Company could create the necessary tunnels and land environment to extract raw materials. The Tesla bot could be used to safely and ethically mine raw materials. SpaceX could use starships to rapidly and cost-effectively transport raw materials across long distances. If the battery limiting factor is conquered successfully, the company could begin to think about other uses for batteries including HVAC systems, pre-built homes, and more.

It’s also possible that Tesla’s Master Plan, Part 3 will involve Tesla’s transition to an Artificial Intelligence and data company. After all, Elon has repeatedly stated that Tesla will be thought of more as an artificial intelligence company than anything else. The company has been focused on solving real-world AI and more recently we had AI day, introducing the Optimus Humanoid Robot.

In the product roadmap update on the Q4 earnings call, Elon stated that "the most important product development is the Optimus Humanoid Robot” which he thinks "has the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time. He explained that “labor is the foundation of the economy."

With no labor shortages, humanoid robots could revolutionize the world economy. They could also play a crucial role in scaling to extreme size and overcoming the limiting factor of battery manufacturing.

Here is a prediction of what the Master plan, Part 3 could include:

  • Develop the best AI training supercomputer to solve real-world problems that goes way beyond just self-driving
  • Remove battery manufacturing as the limiting factor to vehicle production by building millions of Tesla bots to eliminate the need for dangerous, boring, repetitive jobs (mining)
  • Synergize The Boring Company, Tesla and SpaceX to mine and transport raw materials on a massive scale

What do you think Tesla aims to accomplish in its third master plan? Let us know.

Mysterious Covered Up Model 3 Raises Questions

By Kevin Armstrong
Several covered-up Model 3s have been found over the past of days
Several covered-up Model 3s have been found over the past of days
@omg_tesla & CloudWalking

If it isn’t the worst-looking LeBra ever made, then what is it? This oddly covered-up Model 3 appeared in the wild just days after Reuters reported Tesla was revamping the popular car. The plot thickens as Teslarati reports the license plates to indicate the vehicle is from Tesla. But what is the biggest secret under the horribly fitting covers?

Twitter user @omg_tesla spotted the car in a parking garage in Santa Cruz, California. Twitter users filled the replies with a lot of speculation. But of interest, the cabin of the car is wide open and visible. This eliminates a lot of conjecture that this is a revamped version. There is a belief the company is trying to cut costs to get the Model 3 under $55,000 to qualify for the US tax incentive in 2023. However, some cost savings will be found in the Model 3’s interior.

That would lead us to believe that the only secret things on this car are some design changes in the front and back. However, on close examination, it doesn’t appear to be different than the current Model 3. The headlights look the same if you follow the lining and the taillights look identical to what is in production as well.

Reddit user CloudWalking, found a different Model 3 similarly covered up a couple of days later.

Twitter user @Aiaddict1, who's a former Tesla employee, tweeted: Tesla policy requires employees who use certain eng fleet cars in public to always use a car cover when parked in public if the vehicle is equipped with hardware not known or available to the public. I know this as I used to drive the eng fleet prototypes. This looks to be one.

Whatever is under those odd covers remains a mystery. Reuters reported that the Tesla revamp, called Project Highland, would start to roll off production lines in the third quarter of 2023. They also quoted Ed Kim, president of AutoPacific Group, who said, “consumers still tend to equate visual changes with newness. Tesla knows visually tangible changes are in order. The upcoming changes that potential customers can see and feel will be very important in ensuring that EV customers still have Tesla at the top of their minds as truly excellent alternatives to Tesla are starting to flood the market.”

Nevertheless, Twitter "detectives" joked that this is the newest Tesla paint protection, bug screen or perhaps automotive underwear. Personally, I think if the covers were off, it would’ve drawn far less attention as there are a lot of Teslas in California, but none sporting these covers.

It's not clear what Tesla is testing with these vehicles, although it doesn't appear to be related to the "revamp" of the Model 3. However, it very likely includes some sort of changes that haven't been publicly announced yet.

Two Door Cybertruck is Unlikely Now, But May be on the Radar

By Kevin Armstrong
A sketch of a two-door Cybertruck can be found at the Peterson Automotive Museum
A sketch of a two-door Cybertruck can be found at the Peterson Automotive Museum
MissJilianne/Twitter

The Tesla crowd of enthusiasts has eyes everywhere. Twitter user @MissJilianne caused quite a stir after visiting the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, which recently opened a new Tesla exhibit. The Model S Plaid owner and FSD Beta tester posted a few pictures of her visit, including some artwork at the Cybertruck display.

The artistic design shows the Cybertruck in a two-door version. Miss Jilianne asks: Are we not going to talk about the beautiful artwork of a two door Cybertruck displayed at the @Petersen_Museum Tesla exhibit?

Her tweet generated discussion on social platforms and Tesla blogs, and it had mixed reactions. @KounisTou tweeted: It's not only that, but it has a totally different, dare I say better looking? A-pillar design with a wraparound windshield like early Semi prototype. Looks great. Except maybe that it looks a bit too much like a Lamborghini.

That may be the biggest clue to this spectacular piece of art. Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla's chief designer, is a huge fan of the “wedge” design. He grew up with Lamborghini Countach posters on his wall. Other responses to the picture believe it is the origin of the piece of art. It is likely an early sketch of what the Cybertruck could look like, and there were likely several. Given von Holzhausen’s love for the Countach, this is quite likely an early concept he was sketching out.

Elon Musk has publicly stated his support for a smaller truck. On November 24, 2019, he tweeted: Long term, it probably makes sense to build a smaller Cybertruck too.

However, the four-door version is due in 2023. CNBC interviewed von Holzhausen right in front of the Cybertruck. He stated, “Cybertruck will look, for all intents and purposes, just like the one behind us, maybe slightly smaller, a few percentages, but in general, this is what the truck will look like.”

Still, the designer did say something else during that interview that leaves the door open for a possible two-door Cybertruck. The creative mind behind the Model S, 3, X, Y, Semi and Cybertruck was asked to pick a favorite. His response was, "My favorite one is the one that is coming. I can't talk about (it).”

For a man that loves sports cars, it was believed that he was referring to the second-generation Roadster. Maybe he is referring to a smaller Cybertruck that looks a lot like those wedge cars that inspired him to become a car designer.

Tesla has a history of providing sketches to early reservation holders of their vehicles. It waits to be seen whether Tesla will do the same for the Cybertruck when deliveries start next year.

Below you'll find other sketches that Tesla provided to Model S, 3 and X reservation holders.

Model S Sketch

An early sketch of the Model S that was given to owners
An early sketch of the Model S that was given to owners
Electrek

Model 3 Sketch

A sketch of the Model 3 was given to owners who reserved the vehicle on the first night
A sketch of the Model 3 was given to owners who reserved the vehicle on the first night
Electrek

Model X Sketch

An early sketch of the Model X that was initially given to owners of the Model X
An early sketch of the Model X that was initially given to owners of the Model X
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